Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE
In the MAC Championship, one team has been there before, while it represents a rare occurrence for the other.
The Northern Illinois Huskies and Kent St. Golden Flashes meet in the Marathon MAC Championship on Friday night, as two of college football's best rushing games will square off at Ford Field in Detroit.
Both Kent State and NIU brushed off early season losses to get their seasons on track, finishing with one loss each, and boasting national rankings.
The 17th and 21st teams, however, find themselves in very different situations.
For Northern Illinois, arriving back at the MAC Championship has become par for the course. In each of the last three years, the Huskies have been present, and are looking to win their second title in a row, after beating Ohio last year. Junior quarterback Jordan Lynch has defined North Illinois's offense this year, passing for 2,700 yards, while rushing for over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Arriving at this point is a rare occurrence for the Kent State Golden Flashes. The last time they played in the MAC Championship was 1972, when they won the conference championship. Rather than having an elite dual-threat quarterback like Lynch, the Golden Flashes have relied on two running backs -- Dri Archer and Trayion Durham -- who have combined for over 2,500 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns.
Game time, TV channel: 7 p.m., ESPN2
Point Spread: Northern Illinois is favored by 6.5 points.